When it comes to leveraging anonymity online and avoiding government surveillance, users have the option of using: Tor or VPNs. The Tor browser delivers excellent security and privacy features, which make it impossible to trace your identity. However, it lacks in offering good speeds for streaming and other activities. VPNs, on the other hand, balance things out between SPEED and PRIVACY, but the main selling point of both: they can work in conjunction. Read this guide for the Best VPN for Tor to uncover the right service for your streaming and privacy needs by BestVPN!
What is Tor?
Short for “The Onion Router” (also depicted in the logo of the browser), Tor was initially developed for the U.S. Navy on 20th September 2002. It featured a global network of servers that allowed people to browse the internet securely and anonymously. Now, the product has turned towards the non-profit division, spreading the importance of development and research of online privacy tools.
At the same time, it offers maximum protection to a user’s privacy by moving your traffic across different Tor servers around the world, while encrypting it to ensure nothing can be traceable back to YOU. However, the service does not prevent websites from “knowing” that you are using “Tor”. Though no one can see the traffic from random nodes, some websites can still restrict access to users of Tor.
How Tor Works?
Tor has a decentralized network, which offers several layers of protection for user data. It directs internet traffic through an overlay of servers around the world that consist of more than seven thousand relays. This allows for the proper concealing of a users’ location, preventing anyone from monitoring your activity, be it visits to communication forms, social media, service websites, or instant messages. All information passing through the Tor network is encrypted, boosting your anonymity online.
Best VPN for Tor in 2018
The criteria for finding the Best VPN for Tor is quite different to other aspects like privacy/streaming. You need to find a provider familiar with the different VPN and Tor configs. One that offers advanced technologies/features available to form a strong connection of the two, while providing a strong service overall, which does not compromise on speeds, support, reliability, or server’s availability. If you are looking for the same, below is a list of the Best VPNs for Tor.
- $7.96Per Month
- Number of Servers not defined
- Military Grade Encryption
- 24/7 Live Chat
- No Logging Policy
- 5 Simultaneous Connections
- Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android
- $7.67$3.88Per Month
- Only 100 servers in 60+ countries
- AES-256 bit encryption keys
- Live Chat support
- No logging done by provider
- 6 Multi-Logins offered
- Compatible with all Major Platforms
- $9.99$4.00Per Month
- 940+ servers in 190 Locations
- Military Grade Encryption
- Live chat support
- Keeps logs for 30 Days
- 5 Simultaneous Connections
- Apps for Windows, Mac, iOS & Android
- $1.96Per Month
- Fast speed
- Decent server coverage
- 4 Multi-Logins
- OpenVPN + PPTP
- SSH Tunnel
- No up-time limit
- Unlimited bandwidth
- $9.91$3.49Per Month
- 3322+ servers in 32 different countries
- AES 256 bit encryption provided
- Zero Logs (Even FBI Failed Twice To Acquire Data)
- 10 Simultaneous Logins Supported
- 24/7 live chat feature
- Apps for All Popular OS & Browser Extensions
Based in Italy, AirVPN is one of the very few providers that supports the “VPN through Tor” configuration. It boasts the best anti-censorship technologies, even allowing users to activate SSL and SSH tunneling for maximum security against government surveillance. Other features include 3 simultaneous connections, dynamic port forwarding, 3-day free trial, kill switch, and DNS Leak protection.
- Supports VPN through Tor Config.
- SSL and SSH Tunneling Available.
- Dynamic Port Forwarding.
- Multi-Logins on 3 Devices.
- Accepts Bitcoin Payments.
- Limited Server Locations Worldwide.
Just like AirVPN, the PrivateVPN service offers VPN over Tor, which gives you the best anonymity online, especially in countries with tough internet laws. The Swedish provider has a huge list of servers around 52 countries in the world. There is even a built-in firewall system, which further provides security with per-all kill switch, IPv6/IPv4 Leak Protection, and SOCKS5 proxies (ranked as the best vpn for torrenting). Do explore our detailed PrivateVPN review for more information.
- Offers VPN over Tor Configuration.
- Port Forwarding Feature Available.
- HTTPS and SOCKS5 Proxies.
- Full DNS Leak Protection.
- Cross Platform Compatibility.
- Poor Server Distribution.
One of the most reliable VPN providers, Torguard is an extremely viable option if you are looking to use Tor with VPN. It offers AES-256 encryption, thereby increasing the already secure Tor experience even further. The service provides dedicated OS apps, allowing for increased compatibility on all platforms. The onion routing used by Tor finds its best match in its namesake provider i.e. Torguard. A Must have VPN if you are looking a fluid, seamless, fast VPN cover on Tor.
- Indigenous support for Tor
- 3000+ servers worldwide.
- Stealth VPN Feature.
- Residential IPs Available.
- Zero Logs Provider.
- The pricing plans are highly ambigious and confusing.
- Doesn’t offer a free trial yet
TorVPN is a UK-based provider that operates out of Hungary. Therefore, it may not be the safest choice for many, as they are required to keep extensive connection logs. Nevertheless, the VPN has never been caught revealing personal information to anyone. It offers excellent encryption and “Tor through VPN” with a hybrid node that allows access to .onion websites using its own DNS server.
- Tor through VPN Configuration.
- A “Hybrid” Tor Mode.
- Strong Encryption.
- Dynamic Port Forwarding.
- Cheapest vpn Subscription Plans.
- Based in UK (Legally).
Private Internet Access (PIA)
Based in the US, PIA is another reliable VPN for Tor. Yes, it is located in a country part of the Five Eyes Alliance, but the provider does not sacrifice on user privacy. In fact, it is a certified no logs provider, which has even been proved in court. Features you receive when signing up include port forwarding, DNS leak protection, VPN kill switch, and 5 simultaneous connections. Don’t forget to read our comprehensive Private Internet Access Review.
- Tor through VPN Configuration.
- Accepts Bitcoin Payments.
- Excellent OpenVPN Encryption.
- DNS Leak Protection and Kill Switch.
- Pocket-Friendly Pricing Plans.
- No Free Trial or Refund.
Founded in 2012 and headquartered in Panama, NordVPN is the creation of Tefinkom & Co, S.A. It is one of the safest providers in the marketplace. Users have access to 5080 servers in 62 countries and numerous other features. These include DoubleVPN, SOCKS5 Proxy, DNS Leak Protection, Automatic Kill Switch, and more. For added security, NordVPN even supports Onion over VPN, which gives you an added layer of protection by hiding your IP address from the exit node of Tor!
- Offers Tor over VPN Configuration
- CyberSec Protocol and DoubleVPN
- SmartPlay for Unblocking VoDs
- 5080 Servers in 62 Countries
- Dedicated IP Addresses Available
- 30-Day Refund Process
NordVPN Onion over VPN
When using NordVPN’s Onion over VPN feature, your internet traffic routes through their dedicated VPN server first and then sent to the Tor Network. Upon reaching the final destination on the internet via the Tor exit relays, you stay completely anonymous online.
This is because the usage of the Tor over VPN also anonymizes the exit nodes. Using the feature does not require any rocket science. Simply launch the NordVPN application and click on the “Servers” tab. Here select “Onion over VPN” to activate the protocol.
You even have specific servers for protection against DDoS attacks (crucial for gamers). DoubleVPN that routes your traffic through two different servers for maximum anonymity. Dedicated IP servers for unblocking VoDs like Netflix, and P2P servers used for free torrenting activities.
Once you select the “Onion over VPN” option in the servers category, you will gain access to a new menu. This includes specialty servers that are recommended for you, based on “least loaded” and “Closest to you” for maximum protection online.
Click on any server you deem perfect for your anonymous activities, and then use Tor with great ease of mind. Since NordVPNs Tor over VPN anonymizes the IP address from the exit node, you can feel relieved that your ISPs have no idea about you connecting to the Tor Network.
Is Tor Legal?
Setting aside the discreditable and scandalous news relating to Tor, there is nothing actually wrong with the browser. Anyone can use Tor to explore the internet. It is completely legal, but many associate the anonymity received via Tor to doing something illegal. For instance, many link the browser to nefarious activities like accessing the Dark Net, a central location for criminal and illicit activity. Though it may be true to some extent, Tor is still a safe way for protecting the online privacy of the common man. Rest assured, downloading it will not get you into legal hassles!
Why Tor Is The Last But Not The Least In The Browser Rankings?
As mentioned earlier, the Tor browser has developed a reputation of being regularly associated with the dark web and its seedy underworld. Subsequently, for many it is simply a no-go option, as nobody wants to link themselves to something that appears shady. In reality, though Tor is a very user-friendly, intuitive, and privacy-focused browser, which can prove incredibly useful in cloaking your identity, especially in countries with tough internal laws and those that encourage government surveillance on citizens.
Tor vs VPN
Tor is the ultimate browser for those who want to leverage the utmost level of anonymity online. It is designed to encrypt and protect all sent/received data, with all traffic being routed through thousands of notes around the world. It has its own list of pros/cons, which include:
- Free Browser – Cross-Platform Compatibility. Available on Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux.
- Global Network – It is impossible to trace one’s identity or perform a hacking attempt.
- Complete Anonymity – Nobody can see your internal IP or trace you to external IPs visited.
- Slow Speeds – Data passes through thousands of nodes across the world, hindering performance.
- P2P/File Sharing Not Suitable – Slow speeds make downloading torrents incredibly painful.
- Reveals the Usage of “Tor” – The browser does not hide the usage of tor in the eyes of websites.
VPNs are quite similar to the Tor Network, but it adopts a different protocol for encrypting internet traffic. Your information passes through a secure server that boasts strong ciphers for anonymity, hence allowing you to hide your identity and activity from ISPs and government agencies.
- Faster Speeds – In comparison to Tor, VPNs offer fast speeds and overall performance.
- Location Spoofing – Availability of different servers around the world allows for cloaking identity.
- Ideal P2P/File Sharing – VPNs offer P2P-supported servers with Split Tunneling and SOCKS5 Proxy.
- Unblocking Websites – Encrypting and location shifting allows for unblocking of geo-restricted sites.
- Premium Services are Expensive – Most VPNs are not free and boast expensive monthly pricing.
- Logging of Data – The law of many countries urges providers to keep records of user activity.
Why Use Tor and VPN Together?
As you can see, Tor and VPNs both have their own list of advantages and disadvantages. What if we could combine the two to create something more powerful? Yes, that is very much possible. Despite being different in many ways, both Tor and VPN use encrypted proxy connections to hide user identities. Typically, there are two configurations for using it:
Tor through VPN
This configuration involves connecting to the VPN server first and then the Tor Network, before exploring the internet, meaning that your IP is that of the Tor exit node. This prevents ISPs from knowing that you are using Tor with the entry node not being able to see your true IP, which can go a long way if you are using a VPN with a no logs policy. You can also easily access Tor hidden services/.onion websites.
However, where there are benefits, you do have to face some risks too. Using the Tor through VPN configuration could reveal the IP address to your provider. You will have zero protection against malicious threats, as non-https traffic may pass the exit nodes. Sometimes Tor exit nodes may be blocked, causing hindrances in cloaking your identity completely.
VPN through Tor
This configuration involves connecting first to the Tor network and then a VPN server, before exploring the internet, meaning that your IP address is that of the VPN server. Not many providers support this config, but it offers the best security as compared to any other protocol or service. Since you connect to a VPN server through Tor, it is impossible for anyone to see your real IP address.
If you sign up with an anonymous payment option like Bitcoin, it will be impossible to trace any activity back to you, allowing you to enjoy completely secure streaming and P2P/File sharing. This config also bypasses all blocks on Tor exit nodes, while allowing you to choose different severs for bypassing geo-restrictions imposed by websites around the world.
Best Free VPN for Tor
When it comes to finding a VPN for Tor, not many users want to spend money on a premium service. This is where FREE services usually gain momentum in the marketplace. Unfortunately, there were no free VPNs that support VPN for Tor, and its two configurations. However, we did find a few providers that offer a FREE trial for you to enjoy, along with providing VPN for Tor support. These include:
Best Free VPN for Deep Web
The Dark Web, accessed using the Tor Browser, can be a fairly dangerous place. This is because while it can be used for legitimate purposes. There are still many, who may indulge in it for criminal activities. For instance, the dark web gives political dissidents, law enforcement officers, journalists and other privacy-seekers shelter.
At the same time, it is a great place for scammers, hackers, and other cyber criminals. Nobody knows WHO they could be, which means it is necessary to be 100% secure. If you use Tor alone, the tech-savvy could still be able to trace back your IP address. Therefore, using a Free VPN for the Deep Web is not exactly a good option.
In fact, most providers that market themselves as “Free” do not support the two configurations: Tor through VPN and VPN through Tor. This is why we often suggest that users try the “DuckDuckGo” browser for accessing the dark web. Unlike Google Chrome, DuckDuckGo does not have a lot of filters in its search engine algorithm.
This means, while Google does not index sites on the Dark Web, DuckDuckGo does! As such, if you are looking for an alternative for the Tor browser, it is the best way to go. They even have their own Dark Web site https://3g2upl4pq6kufc4m.onion/ which you can access using a secure VPN connection. Other websites to check out if you are new to the dark web include:
The Hidden Wiki
A great site to visit for newbies on the Dark Web. It is similar to the real Wiki, but has tons of information that you would not find in the original website!
.Onion Link: The Hidden Wiki
This website opens the possibilities of signing up for things via anonymous email and pay via the private bitcoin. It is one of the smaller .onion marketplaces on the dark web.
.Onion Link: Dream Market
The world’s largest social media platform also offers an .onion website. It is quite similar to the original Facebook only that no logs are recorded of user activity.
.Onion Link: Facebook
If you are tired of strict user agreements from local web hosting companies, Private Hosting is a great place to visit. You can have a Linux-based PHP of up to 100 MB for $170 yearly!
.Onion Link: Private Hosting
As the name implies, the website is a builder tool for the dark web. It allows users to create their own .onion stores and even comes equipped with bitcoin integration.
.Onion Link: Tor Shops
Tor VPN Router
One of the easiest ways to use the “VPN over Tor” configuration is to purchase a VPN-router. Providers like NordVPN offer their own routers, which offer the capability of switching severs instantly, while protecting all your devices via Wi-Fi. Once the router is setup, simply connect to the Tor browser for additional protection. This way, you can boost your online anonymity, without any hassle!
Tor VPN Free Download
The Tor browser itself is available for download, without paying a single penny. Just visit the website here and install the suitable version for your platform. There are dedicated applications for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Once done, you can sign up with any of the above mentioned providers, and then download their native apps from the website, Google Play Store, or iTunes.
When it comes to accessing the deep web, users often get confused regarding which browser to use. Bear in mind that you cannot access the dark web using Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, as they do not have a decentralized network with an overlay of servers around the world.
These browsers are quite basic in their operation and neither do they integrate any encryption for cloaking your identity. If you want to access the deep web, you only have two options: use the Tor Browser (preferred choice) or DuckDuckGo (provides access to specific red rooms only).
Best VPN for Tor FAQ
When it comes to using the Best VPNs for Tor, many thoughts might arise about how it can protect your identity or boost your security. Among the most common queries we get asked, include:
Can Your ISP See What You Do On Tor?
Since Tor cloaks the identity of a user connection to the webserver and encrypts all incoming/outgoing traffic, it is impossible for any ISP to monitor or track your HTTP requests. As a result, they cannot see what websites you are trying to access. Combined with a VPN, you can boost your anonymity online even more and leverage complete digital privacy.
Is Tor Browser a VPN?
No Tor is not exactly a VPN, but it does bear resemblance, as it uses encrypted proxy connections to hide user identities. It passes all your data through thousands of nodes around the world, each of which is aware of the IP address in front and not behind it. Therefore, no one can track your identity using Tor, but websites may still know that you are using a Tor connection. You can check other best vpn browsers to learn more.
TOR VPN Android?
Tor does indeed offer an Android version for users to enjoy on their smartphones. It goes by the name “Orbot”, which provides strong encryption of internet traffic for maximum security. Simply connect to your VPN and then open the Tor browser for maximum anonymity online.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope this guide helps you find the Best VPN for Tor, based on your privacy needs and budgetary requirements. Regardless, if you face any trouble, do not hesitate on commenting below. Also, feel free to list down any suggestions you deem reliable for use on Tor. Have a nice day!